HearMe

HearMe

Early Stage

A mobile health solution to provide peer support at scale and improve mental wellness.

A mobile health solution to provide peer support at scale and improve mental wellness.

Overview

Raised this Round: Raised: $104,000

Total Commitments ($USD)

Platform

Wefunder

Start Date

07/18/2021

Close Date

11/22/2021

Min. Goal
$100,000
Max. Goal
$1,000,000
Min. Investment

$100

Security Type

SAFE

Series

Pre-Seed

SEC Filing Type

RegCF    Open SEC Filing

Early Bird Val. Cap

$5,000,000

Valuation Cap

$5,750,000

Discount

15%

Year Founded

2018

Industry

Fitness & Wellness

Tech Sector

HealthTech

Distribution Model

B2B/B2C

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

Low

Location

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Business Type

Growth

HearMe, with a valuation cap of $5.75 million, is raising crowdfunding on Wefunder. The company has developed a mobile health platform to improve mental wellness and address the global loneliness crisis. The platform connects people anonymously to a trained listener for them to talk and share their unique lived experiences. Adam S Lippin founded HearMe in April 2018. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum goal of $100,000 and a maximum goal of $1,000,000, will target Salesforce integration, the building of university pipeline, launching HearMe Premium, and product development. HearMe has reported over 115,000 downloads and more than 375,000 interactions, with 92% of users feeling better after just one conversation.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$161

$188

COGS

$0

$0

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$-198,558

$-214,845

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$6,104

$8,742

Accounts Receivable

$0

$0

Total Assets

$6,104

$8,742

Short-Term Debt

$51,901

$9,162

Long-Term Debt

$76,110

$10,929

Total Liabilities

$128,011

$20,091

Financials as of: 07/18/2021
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Synopsis

In 2020, 9.7% of youth experienced severe major depression in the US. In 2017 and 2018, 19% of adults experienced mental illness. This constitutes a huge segment of the global population, yet a significant portion of this population — nearly 25% of adults — did not receive any mental health treatment. 

HearMe wants to fix that. The company aims to alleviate common mental illnesses such as loneliness, anxiety, and depression among young adults. Instead of therapy-based solutions that tend to be more costly, HearMe wants to provide a more affordable solution by being the marketplace for peer support. Its peer-to-peer chat program matches trained listeners with anyone who wants to vent about daily stressors at any time of the day. HearMe has four products, including the HearMe mobile app, HearMe@University, and HearMe Listening Academy. Its fourth product, HearMe@Work, will launch in 2022.  

HearMe’s current WeFunder raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Next Section: Price

Price

HearMe is raising via Crowd SAFE at a valuation cap of $5.75 million with a 15% discount. At first glance, this price seems high, given that HearMe has earned little revenue thus far. But HearMe does have a notable amount of users, which shows it has enough traction to make its valuation attractive. As a result, HearMe’s price score is rated above average.

Next Section: Market

Market

In 2018, the global mental health app market was worth $587.9 million. While this is a considerably small market, it has seen a rapid compound annual growth rate of 23.7% since then. North America has the biggest share and is dominating the market. Some factors contributing to the growth of the mental health app market are the increasing awareness of mental health and the prevalent social stigma around seeking treatment from psychiatrists. Thus, the anonymity of apps is preferable. 

Some universities are already incorporating peer listening programs, believing that it can be effective for college students. However, universities provide a limited amount of free counseling sessions. Therapy is costly, and many people prefer confiding in someone they know before turning to counseling. So there is demand for HearMe’s services. Hence, the company has huge market potential, especially since its main target market is universities. Overall, its market score is above average.

Next Section: Team

Team

HearMe founder Adam Lippin attended the State University of New York of Binghamton. So far, he has shown his strength in leadership and managerial skills. He is a serial entrepreneur who founded two other companies aside from HearMe: Atomic Wings, a chicken wing franchise, and Cuddlist, a professional cuddle therapy company. He led Atomic Wings to an exit in 2017, which indicates his ability to bring a company to success. He is concurrently running Cuddlist. Rather than showing a lack of focus, Lippin’s Cuddlist role is actually an advantage. It demonstrates that he has been in the healthcare and wellness industry for a long time and is focused on the HearMe mission of helping people. 

Lippin has assembled a strong team of eight, including community managers, communications staff, developers, and trainers. Lippin also has four experienced advisors with backgrounds in media, marketing, brand development and more. Overall, given Lippin’s prior exit experience and a comprehensive team, HearMe’s team score is one of its highest.

Next Section: Differentiators

Differentiators

The mental health app market is very competitive, as existing companies approach the same problem with different solutions. Some existing alternative solutions are mood trackers (e.g. Shine, Feel), clinical support (e.g. BetterHelp), and AI chats (e.g. Youper). HearMe’s closest competitor is TalkLife, which offers the same service as HearMe and also targets universities

HearMe’s main differentiation could be its price point. However, it’s not listed on the raise page or the pitch deck. Moreover, HearMe’s product is not defensible, as it does not have a patent to protect its technology. This means competitors could easily replicate it. HearMe does have several different revenue streams, but most of these are not well developed yet. Thus, its differentiation score is its lowest.

Next Section: Performance

Performance

HearMe generated $161 in revenue last year, a 14% decrease from $188 in 2019. Though its financial performance is unimpressive, it’s common for social platforms like HearMe to increase their userbase before they generate substantial revenue. With little revenue, HearMe has been burning significant amounts of cash ($198,558 in 2020), so it has yet to become profitable. HearMe also has not declared any partnerships and its product is still a working beta. 

But outside of financials, HearMe has gained impressive traction. It has 100,000 users, more than 115,000 app downloads, a 4.7 out of 5 average rating, more than 375,000 interactions, more than 28,000 dedicated chat lines, and more than 20,000 trained listeners. It also has a diverse global community with 17,000 listeners who receive constant training. HearMe claims it has helped 92% of its users feel better after only one session. And the company’s growth has been 100% organic, meaning it has spent no money on marketing. Overall, HearMe’s performance score is rated just about average.

Next Section: Risks

Risks

HearMe has raised several times prior to this round, resulting in a total amount of $400,000. The last fundraising round had a $6 million valuation cap. Currently, the company is raising at a $5.75 million valuation cap with a 15% early bird discount. This down round valuation indicates that the equity in this round is worth less than it was in the former round, which raises a question for investors about the sustainability of the company. 

HearMe also has only one founder, which limits the scope of experience and network for the company to rely on. The chief of technology only works part-time for the company while its main product is a software that is still in the beta stage. HearMe definitely needs to scale its team in order to rapidly scale the business. 

Since HearMe’s product is still a beta version, the company needs to finish its development quickly in order to compete in the crowded market. HearMe’s negative net income has persisted for the past two years, creating some financial risks. However, it is not uncommon for early stage tech startups to burn significant amounts of cash to fully develop their products.

Next Section: Bearish Outlook

Bearish Outlook

HearMe’s current business model relies heavily on its business-to-business strategy of focusing on universities and enterprises. One potential pitfall worth noting, aside from the early stage product development, is that the company does not demonstrate striking signs of traction from these universities and enterprises. This raises questions about the company’s ability to tap into these target markets. Additionally, there is no information regarding its go-to-market strategy or its long-term strategy. These are crucial pieces of information needed to build conviction among investors. 

HearMe plans to charge its current user base a low monthly rate. With HearMe’s current business model as a social networking platform, this pricing model doesn’t make sense. The most critical factor for social network platforms is building an extensive user base. Charging this user base a certain rate for talking to their peers may decrease user retention rate. Furthermore, investors may also question whether HearMe can differentiate its product enough to have a sustainable key advantage.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

Despite potential hurdles ahead, HearMe is riding strong trends of mental health awareness. As a growing number of people seek mental health treatment options, HearMe’s products could see accelerated market adoption. In addition, its products have smartly positioned the company as a new social networking platform focused on wellbeing. HearMe’s peer-to-peer platform enables users to simply talk and vent to trained listeners anytime, anywhere. This may be a perfect solution for those who are not ready for regular therapy sessions but seek an empathetic listener. Since there is no professional counseling involved, HearMe has the advantage of offering help at an attractive price point without the expense of professional therapists. Moreover, the company has seen outstanding traction despite its product being only a working beta. And its growth has been entirely organic, which is the best kind of growth a company can ask for.

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

HearMe is a social networking platform that enables users to chat with a trained listener at any time of the day. It has four main products: the HearMe mobile app, HearMe@University, HearMe Listening Academy, and HearMe@Work. 

HearMe is in a competitive yet rapidly growing market. Since its main revenue stream is from universities and enterprises, the company needs to have a long-term strategy to build confidence among investors. The company’s founder has a prior exit and has successfully brought together a well-rounded team. This is supported by the impressive traction based on the number of users and downloads. It’s also experienced 100% organic growth. However, HearMe doesn’t have any substantial revenue yet, and it’s burning through a lot of cash. Its product is also not fully developed and is not highly differentiated from competing products. Overall, HearMe is a Neutral Deal.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com.

Analysis written by Inez Sanjaya.

Founder Profile

HearMe Founder Adam Lippin on the New Market for Peer Support

Although mental health awareness has increased in recent years, that doesn’t mean mental health treatment has become more accessible. Receiving professional help can be expensive and uncomfortable. For some, finding affordable, anonymous support may be a better solution.

HearMe provides anonymous peer-to-peer chats that match trained listeners to users who need to vent about daily stressors. HearMe is designed to be an affordable alternative for accessing mental health support. We reached out to founder and CEO Adam Lippin to learn about the inspiration behind the company and the importance of human connection.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Read Founder Interview

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HearMe on Wefunder 2021
Platform: Wefunder
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $5,750,000

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